Capital Markets

Mnuchin expected to be Trump’s Treasury secretary

Donald Trump has chosen Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary, US media outlets reported on Tuesday, positioning the former Goldman Sachs banker to be the latest Wall Street veteran to receive a top administration post. Mr Mnuchin chairs both Dune Capital Management and Dune Entertainment Partners and has been a longtime business associate of Mr […]

Continue Reading


Financial system more vulnerable after Trump victory, says BoE

The US election outcome has “reinforced existing vulnerabilities” in the financial system, the Bank of England has warned, adding that the outlook for financial stability in the UK remains challenging. The BoE said on Wednesday that vulnerabilities that were already considered “elevated” have worsened since its last report on financial stability in July, in the […]

Continue Reading


Zoopla wins back customers from online property rival

Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman has branded rival OnTheMarket “a failed experiment”, and said that his property site was winning back customers at a record rate. OnTheMarket was set up last year, aiming to compete with Zoopla and Rightmove, the UK’s two biggest property portals. It allowed estate agents to list their properties more cheaply […]

Continue Reading


Hard-hit online lender CAN Capital makes executive changes

The biggest online lender to small businesses in the US has pulled down the shutters and put its top managers on a leave of absence, in the latest blow to an industry grappling with mounting fears over credit quality. Atlanta-based CAN Capital said on Tuesday that it had replaced a trio of senior executives, after […]

Continue Reading


BoE stress tests: all you need to know

The Bank of England has released the results of its latest round of its annual banking stress tests and its semi-annual financial stability report this morning. Used to measure the resilience of a bank’s balance sheet in adverse scenarios, the stress tests measured the impact of a severe slowdown in Chinese growth, a global recession […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Insurance

Standard Life annuity sales slide

Posted on April 30, 2014

Fresh evidence of the upheaval George Osborne’s planned pensions reforms are causing the industry emerged on Wednesday when Standard Life warned sales of annuities had slumped.

The FTSE 100 company said sales of annuities, which allow pensioners to convert retirement pot into income, had fallen by half since the chancellor unveiled the shake-up in the budget six weeks ago.

    Standard Life generates about a quarter of its UK new business profits from annuities on an embedded value basis, an insurance-specific metric. Across the group, however, they account for only 6 per cent of annual operating profits.

    The group said it was well placed to deal with the changes, pointing to the scale of its asset management operation and its alternative “income drawdown” offering.

    Analysts said the drop in Standard Life’s annuity sales was to be expected.

    Across the group, assets under administration rose from £233.1bn a year ago to £247.8bn as of the end of March.

    But the headline first quarter numbers were shy of some analysts’ forecasts, because of weaker-than-expected flows of funds from third party pensions investors.

    Shares in Standard Life eased 1 per cent to 382p.

    The Chancellor’s retirement income overhaul has also raised concerns about possible job losses in the life insurance sector.

    MGM Advantage this week disclosed plans to make redundant about 80 employees who focus on annuities. The retirement income group said it was drawing up plans to sell alternative products.